After leaving his previous job of nearly 30 years due to ill health, 58 year old Hywel Selway from the village of Margam near Port Talbot was low on confidence and struggled to see himself ever working again. However, thanks to support from a Life Skills project run by Shaw Trust, Hywel has improved his skills, is high on confidence and has even found himself a new job as a courier. This is a far cry from the shell of a person who walked through door at Shaw Trust early last year . . .
I’d been in the same job for nearly thirty years but I started to get sick and depressed. I was on sick leave for about twelve months. It was recommended that I take early retirement, so that’s what I did.
Two or three years later, I felt that I was ready to go back to into other employment. However, I felt I was no good for anybody and I just wanted to sit in the corner, curl up and cry all the time. And being over 50, I thought my age was against me.
I felt there was nothing in life for me at all until I came across Shaw Trust. I’d been looking for positions on the computer before I came here but I didn’t get any responses. The first time I came through the door I was really depressed and I thought life had come to an end with nothing out there for me at all.
After speaking to the Development Officer at Shaw Trust, it was recommended I go on a developmental course called Work Skills. This course helped a lot. I met a lot of new friends and life started to get much better after this. I was also a bit apprehensive about going back to a classroom for the first time since 1971 but Shaw Trust gave me the confidence to go on this course and I haven’t looked back since.
Before coming on the course I could just about switch on a computer and ping out a few emails. Now I can do lots of different things on the computer and it’s all thanks to the skills they’ve helped me develop. I’ve also improved my communications skills. I was able to stand up in front of a group of people and present a report. I never thought I would be able to stand in front of a crowd and present before. The communication and presentation skills were essential in developing my confidence.
When I came here I had no confidence but now I have plenty. When I found that I had secured a position as a courier I was over the moon because I thought I would never get another job. I love the new job and I like going out to talk to people and meeting new people. I’m now helping other people who feel the same as I used to and I’m putting them in touch with Shaw Trust so they can get the help they need. I feel worth something and that I can help people and tell them that there is a life out there for them.
I travel a lot with this job and I’m surprised at how many new friends I’ve made. I’ve even met up with old school friends and we have a good chat and meet up. It’s really made a big difference to my life.
Without the support I’ve had from Shaw Trust I’d probably be sitting in the house moping around, depressed and still wondering if there’s a life outside for me. Now life is so fabulous, you wouldn’t believe it.
Shaw Trust is the largest third sector provider of employment services in the UK. The Trust, set up in 1982, helps people with disability or disadvantage to find and stay in work.
The scheme was funded under the £14 million Life Skills project, a funding stream, which, for the first time, matches National Lottery money with European Social Funds – distributed through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO). The project aims to help people who face multiple barriers to improve their life skills by increasing their confidence and re-engaging them in education, learning, volunteering or employment.
For further information about the National Lottery Community Fund and how you can apply for funding visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk
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